In a CoreyInscoe.com exclusive (haha, I always wanted to say that), I present you with the full story behind the Hallie Lipsey for SBP campaign as told by one of the masterminds, Nick.
(I omitted last names to keep the conspirators shrouded in just a bit of mystery. I don't want to spoil all the fun.)
My name is Nick. My co-conspirators are Jon, Manu, Johnna, Elizabeth, and Lionel. We are the Committee to Re-Elect Hallie Lipsey. I promised you I'd tell you the story of this prank, but I'm worried that it's not nearly as interesting as it might seem.
About a month ago, Jon and I were standing in the Pit, being barraged by campaign slogans, when inspiration struck. For weeks, we'd braved the slings and arrows of campaign season, annoyed by promises of Alpine Bagel in Davis and flat rate taxi services.
At the same time, I'd been searching for a good way to prank our dear friend Hallie. One of our running jokes was to mock Hallie's uncanny resemblance to J.J. Raynor by calling her "J.J." in public places. (Mind you, this wasn't just us, either. People have had 2-minute conversations with J.J. thinking she was Hallie, and vice-versa.)
In a moment of clarity, it struck. "Jon," I said. "Re-elect Hallie Lipsey for SBP." The wheels had been set in motion. We drafted four friends into the conspiracy, and began our work.
I spent the next weekend working on the flyers, while deep in the heart of Raleigh, my co-conspirators had begun work on the sign. They purchased two pieces of plywood, the largest available at Lowe's, and began devising the campaign promises that would become the centerpiece of our project.
We drove the sign back to Chapel Hill, and stored it in Jon's house, waiting for the moment to strike. That moment came on the night of Wednesday, February 4th. Our operation took place in two phases. First, at about 10:30 p.m., two of our members printed about fifty of our flyers, and distributed them throughout campus. Meanwhile, two others put the finishing touches on the sign. Finally, at just before one in the morning, we set out to bring the sign to campus.
It was here that we struck a serious problem. We no longer had access to the mini-van in which we had transported the sign to Chapel Hill and it was far too large to fit into any of the cars to which we had access. We quickly decided that the only way to get the sign where we needed it to go was to carry it to campus.
According to Google Maps, our trek was 1.7 miles. It seemed longer.
We began walking, giant sign in tow, down MLK Avenue. It wasn't fifteen minutes before we saw the familiar blue and white lights of a police cruiser. "What are you folks up to this evening?" he inquired. "We're working on a project, officer," replied Manu. The officer evidently thought that we had stolen the sign from somewhere. Upon realizing that our sign was not really something that anyone would want to steal, he let us go.
The officer's was only the first of several sidelong glances that we received as we carried the sign through downtown Chapel Hill. About two hours later, we arrived in the Pit, propped up the sign, and ran.
You probably know the rest of the story. Hallie saw the sign, and rushed to us with wild accusations. She knew we'd done it, but had no proof. We relied on this uncertainty over the ensuing days.
That Friday, we saw your blog post. We'd been planning another phase of the plan, but it was the tangible excitement over the campaign that truly convinced us to kick the campaign up a notch. That's when Heels for Hallie, the Facebook group was started.
At the moment we sent out the first invitations, the campaign was out of our control. The enthusiasm for the Lipsey campaign was shared by people who had never even heard of Hallie. It took on a life of its own, and that life was fleshed out on election day, when Hallie received 75 votes, including the vote of one Ms. Hallie Sarah Lipsey.
And that's the story. I told you it wasn't that interesting.
I have to disagree: that story is amazing. I can just imagine them lugging that massive sign all the way down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
So there you have it. I guess we can officially close the books on the Hallie Lipsey saga. I have to say, I'm going to miss it. The campaign brought this site more hits than it has ever seen and it got my photo published in the Daily Tar Heel. It was great to have so many people tell me that they had found the blog, or, even better, that they had read my post and voted for Hallie.
I would like to thank Nick and the gang one last time for the amazing prank that created such a stir at UNC. I raise my glass to you.
Photos courtesy of Campaign for Hallie Lipsey